6 Ways to Protect Yourself in the Digital Age – Safe Email

Computer Hacker with a black mask holding an open lock and a laptop

Every day, countless emails are sent all over the world that attempt to steal your information, get you to send money, install malware or otherwise scam you. These emails are called phishing emails—the worst of the emails we collectively call spam. PowerNET uses a spam filter to help catch these bad emails and help keep you safe.

These shocking statistics show just how many phishing attempts were made on PowerNET email accounts within the last year.

  • 6,728,473 blocked messages
  • 21,510 virus-infected emails caught
  • 1,936,009 messages blocked from bulk email senders
  • 28,216 messages quarantined as probable spam
  • 181,061 messages allowed and tagged with a spam warning
  • 6,769,043 messages allowed through spam filter as legitimate emails

In our ongoing efforts to improve spam filtering, PowerNET is moving to a new spam filter called SpamTitan. Starting November 5, 2018, PowerNET email customers may receive quarantine emails from powernet@bentonrea.com that reference https://spamtitan.bentonrea.com. This new spam filter will better monitor and protect you from unwanted phishing emails while still allowing you to control and customize your spam filter. Please go to https://bentonrea.org/email/manage-spam/ for more information.

It is important to understand, however, that spam filters do not catch all spam or phishing emails. This means it is up to you to also be careful when checking your inbox. Here are some tips to help keep you safe:

  1. Do not open attachments to emails you are not expecting. Even if that attachment is from your closest friend or most loyal customer. If you were not expecting it, call them first and ask if it was really from them.
  2. Do not click on links sent to you in an email. Scammers will often use links that look like the real thing and take you to a website that looks legitimate but is actually fake. One example of this would be mail.bentornea.com instead of mail.bentonrea.com. If you type your username and password into their website you are providing them with your actual username and password.
  3. Look for misspellings, poor grammar or other wording that does not look right. If you spot anything suspicious, contact the sender by phone to ask if it is legitimate.
  4. Look at the return email address, not just the name. If the return email address ends with a period and two letters such as “.ru”, then it is coming from another country. If you see an email that is claiming to be from Benton REA or PowerNET but is not coming from bentonrea.com or bentonrea.org, then it is not from us.
  5. Do not reply to suspect emails. Replying just confirms to the spammer that your email address is legitimate and will make you a target of more sophisticated attacks in the future.
  6. Beware of emails requests for personal or financial information. If an email asks for personal information, tells you that you have won money, asks for money, or asks for personal/banking information it is probably not legitimate and responding could put you at risk of identity theft.

Our goal at PowerNET is to help keep you safe. If you have any questions about this or any other aspect of your PowerNET service, please call tech support at 509-786-4004 or 800-398-1232.

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